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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 10:51   #1
TractorMan
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In praise of 8x32 HG (not L)

I felt compelled to write a very brief appraisal of my 8x32 HG's. I've had them for many years now, and I'm still in love with them! I actually bought them for my wife, having recently bought a pair of Swarovski 8.5x42 EL's for myself. Well my wife didn't use them much and I didn't get on with the Swaros, so I took them over; best thing I ever did! Although optically the Swaros were OK, handling wise they were not so good. The main problem was the strap lugs being very poorly designed and positioned, being exactly where the under ball of my index finger wanted to be; very uncomfortable. I did some side by side tests of the optics and could see no real advantage in the Swaro optics over the HG's, so the decision was made - I was going to keep the HG's and sell the Swaros. Handling wise I just love the HG's and the focussing wheel is superb, smooth as silk and I personally love the way you can move quickly from butterfly to bird with no problem. Again personally, I have no problem with the weight, and don't quite understand why Nikon changed to the L version. The FOV at 7.8 degrees is very comfortable. One thing I've noticed other users commenting on is the rainguards, and the fact that they're too loose; I've found this to be a great advantage in the field as you can flip them on and off instantly in wet conditions.
I don't feel the need to get into further technicalities because that's not what this 'review' is about. I've used a lot of binoculars over the years but these, since I got them, have been in the glove compartment of several cars day and night and have never let me down. I do most of my birding these days from the comfort of my lounge, and so these are finally retired to the house. Happy days!
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 11:29   #2
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Differences between the HG and HGL (TractorMan/anyone else)? Optically? How was the weight lightened? When did Nikon change the model and name? Thanks!
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 11:52   #3
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From memory, HG L 42mm models were substantially less heavy than the HG. The difference in the 32mm was much less (if at all) significant and many BFers took advantage of closeout deals. I think the change was promoted by Nikon at the time as a move to more eco friendly glass. Some, such as Brock, questioned whether the more eco friendly glass may be less capable at controlling false colour issues. Don't recall if anyone produced any empirical evidence one way or the other.
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 13:01   #4
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I agree with Norm Jackson. The HG L (LX L in the USA, although the boxes my 8x32 and 10x32 LX Ls came in say HGL on them.) had Nikon's new lead free glass in it.

I never had the opportunity to use the old HG binoculars.

Nikon introduced the HG L series on 11/19/2004.

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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 13:40   #5
Stanbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TractorMan View Post
I felt compelled to write a very brief appraisal of my 8x32 HG's. I've had them for many years now, and I'm still in love with them! I actually bought them for my wife, having recently bought a pair of Swarovski 8.5x42 EL's for myself. Well my wife didn't use them much and I didn't get on with the Swaros, so I took them over; best thing I ever did! Although optically the Swaros were OK, handling wise they were not so good. The main problem was the strap lugs being very poorly designed and positioned, being exactly where the under ball of my index finger wanted to be; very uncomfortable. I did some side by side tests of the optics and could see no real advantage in the Swaro optics over the HG's, so the decision was made - I was going to keep the HG's and sell the Swaros. Handling wise I just love the HG's and the focussing wheel is superb, smooth as silk and I personally love the way you can move quickly from butterfly to bird with no problem. Again personally, I have no problem with the weight, and don't quite understand why Nikon changed to the L version. The FOV at 7.8 degrees is very comfortable. One thing I've noticed other users commenting on is the rainguards, and the fact that they're too loose; I've found this to be a great advantage in the field as you can flip them on and off instantly in wet conditions.
I don't feel the need to get into further technicalities because that's not what this 'review' is about. I've used a lot of binoculars over the years but these, since I got them, have been in the glove compartment of several cars day and night and have never let me down. I do most of my birding these days from the comfort of my lounge, and so these are finally retired to the house. Happy days!
I concur with all you say having thoroughly enjoyed using one for many years. Like you, I had no problem with the weight, which I found to be a bonus in holding them steady and the rainguard was one of the best l have used.

I bought a Zeiss FL to replace it and, too late, realised the HG was better so the FL was sold.

It has since been replaced by a Nikon EDG.

Stan
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 14:01   #6
TractorMan
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Hi Stan
Good to know that at least one person agrees with me! If I was younger I might have a look at the EDG's, but I continue to love the view through my HG's and will stay with them. That's not to say I won't buy the odd pair here and there just for fun! I tried using my Swift 8.5 x 44's at home, but as good as the view is they're so heavy.
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 15:36   #7
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One thing I've noticed other users commenting on is the rainguards, and the fact that they're too loose; I've found this to be a great advantage in the field as you can flip them on and off instantly in wet conditions.
TractorMan you are so right about rainguards needing to be whipped on and off in a split second. Off, so you can get your bins on something you have spotted, and on, so your eyepieces don't get 'spotted' with rain.

Lee
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 16:55   #8
TractorMan
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Hi Lee
Yes, I hadn't realised how good these were until I first started using them. I know they look a bit odd but in terms of practicality they can't be beaten. Tight fitting guards are OK if you're about to cross a river, but in all other cases forget 'em. As always this is purely my opinion.
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Old Saturday 1st April 2017, 23:30   #9
james holdsworth
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Right there with both of you on rainguards - the best ever are those fitted to some of my BGAT's - the flat, plate-type that threads through both sides of the strap and falls out of the way when the bin is lifted....ideal, IMO.
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Old Sunday 2nd April 2017, 08:35   #10
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On rainguards, I'm of one mind with Lee and James.

I've also had the old Zeiss model James mentions, and it functioned perfectly. It was also just heavy enough that it would not accidentally flip off from hanging binoculars, but once you lifted the bins to your eyes, they practically removed themselves at the right moment.

A good "universal model" for many binoculars that have large eyecups is the Fujinon rain guard for FMTX models.

On the topic of the thread. The HG is still an excellent binocular. It has more CA and is not as bright as the best modern binoculars of that size (here, the EDG is significantly better), but generally the image is fine and handling superb.

Kimmo
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Old Sunday 2nd April 2017, 12:32   #11
TractorMan
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Just to clarify which rainguards I'm talking about, here's a picture. I use/used mine attached on only one side, and keen observers will note that the other slot has a 'notch' to slip over the opposite strap if you feel the need (I never have).
Kimmo, although I respect your opinion as highly as anybody's, I have to say that I've never seen CA with these bins, even when I've looked for it. Edges are sharp and clear with no colour bleeding; perhaps I've just been lucky?
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Old Sunday 2nd April 2017, 13:47   #12
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Right there with both of you on rainguards - the best ever are those fitted to some of my BGAT's - the flat, plate-type that threads through both sides of the strap and falls out of the way when the bin is lifted....ideal, IMO.
Couldn't agree more James. I've got three of these and they might look clunky but they do the job that too many rainguards fail to do.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 26th April 2017, 16:18   #13
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I agree that these are very good binoculars, I bought mine in 2004 after comparing all the premium brands, the HGs had the best combination of resolution, colour balance, contrast and quality construction. I was so pleased with them that I added a pair of 10x42 HGs shortly afterwards.
Since then I have had the opportunity to look through several newer models but have yet to find one that I prefer - the closest was an 8x42 Nikon EDG, undeniably a superb instrument but the difference to my old ones was slight, certainly not enough to consider 'upgrading'.
I am still absolutely delighted with them and remain confident that I made a good choice.
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Old Sunday 11th June 2017, 19:30   #14
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I have used both the Nikon 10x42 HG and HGL with the latter still in use. Subjectively speaking, I found hardly any difference between them. The repeated comments by reviewers about the weight of the HGs in comparison to the other leading roofs probably led Nikon to introduce the HGLs. I wavered between buying the HGs and the Superior Es as in absolute centre sharpness the latter might have had an edge - it mattered for birdwatching - but the adjustable eyecups, waterproofing and nitrogen-purging made the HGs the eventual choice. The finest view through the HGs for me is of seascapes on a clear day with reduced haze. They impart the illusion of having walked into the scene.
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Old Sunday 11th June 2017, 23:33   #15
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The only weakness on the old HG's was transmission and CA and weight. They are not quite as bright as the latest alpha's and they showed considerable CA. But some people don't see CA.
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Old Tuesday 13th June 2017, 01:55   #16
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Yes, these are truly fantastic binoculars. I bought mine (8X32 HG) in Toronto more than 10 years ago and I still have them. I also have a Nikon 10X25 HG and a 8X42 LXL. At one point I also bought a 10X42 but was not happy with the depth of field so I sold it. My 8X32 HG is my main observation/hunting binocular.
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Old Tuesday 13th June 2017, 06:01   #17
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Yes, these are truly fantastic binoculars. I bought mine (8X32 HG) in Toronto more than 10 years ago and I still have them. I also have a Nikon 10X25 HG and a 8X42 LXL. At one point I also bought a 10X42 but was not happy with the depth of field so I sold it. My 8X32 HG is my main observation/hunting binocular.

In the February/March 2006 issue of "Gray's Sporting Journal" Terry Wieland, the Shooting Editor of that magazine wrote an article arguing that the 8x30/32 was the "best all-around hunting binocular; it is all most of us will ever need. Ever. Under any circumstances."

He doesn't mention the Nikons but does discuss Leica 8x32 Trinovids and Ultravids; the Swarovski SLC 8x30 WB and the 8x32 EL; the Zeiss 8x32 T* FL, 8x30 B T* and 8x30 Classic and the 8x32 Kahles.

He condemns bargain priced binoculars. "At the very least, having seen what great optics can be, you will never again be satisfied with so-called bargains."

The article ends with this statement:

Terry Wieland is Shooting Editor of Gray's and a believer that cheap optics wear out good boots.
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Old Tuesday 13th June 2017, 14:38   #18
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Terry Wieland is Shooting Editor of Gray's and a believer that cheap optics wear out good boots.
I like it!
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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 17:13   #19
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Some very interesting comments here regarding the quality of the HG and HGL.......although would be good if someone could clarify the actual difference and what the L means?

How do you think these compare with the Zeiss 10x32 T*FL ? The Zeiss cost twice the money. I know they are a fabulous bin but curious as to whether the additional cost is worth it.

I'm a great fan of Nikon (8x32 SE) and in particular the smooth focusing. The Zeiss FL's do get fabulous write ups but could the Nikon 10x32 HGL's still be the better choice?
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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 17:53   #20
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Some very interesting comments here regarding the quality of the HG and HGL.......although would be good if someone could clarify the actual difference and what the L means?

How do you think these compare with the Zeiss 10x32 T*FL ? The Zeiss cost twice the money. I know they are a fabulous bin but curious as to whether the additional cost is worth it.

I'm a great fan of Nikon (8x32 SE) and in particular the smooth focusing. The Zeiss FL's do get fabulous write ups but could the Nikon 10x32 HGL's still be the better choice?
L means Light. L-Body is made of magnesium instead of aluminium. Though it's (not) much* difference between the 8x32 HG and HGL models..the 42mm model had a more significant weight reduction.

HGL 8x32 is heavier and larger than the 8x32 FL, but that might not be an issue, they are still lighter than most 42mm bins. And they might feel better to hold. Eye relief is also better with larger eye pieces, which adds to the weight.

Overall it's a very nice binocular. If you don't mind a bit higher CA than the FL at the edges they are a very good buy. A used Nikon 8x32 EDG might be another nice alternative. They have lower CA than the HGL, also a bit big for 8x32 but they are very nice to hold and use IMO, price will be higher though.

*EDIT As Stanbo pointed out below, it's actually a 100 gram difference, significant in other words.

Allbinos reviews below covers most aspects, note that their transmission graphs tend to show too high values in their earlier reviews. But the relative difference between red-yellow-blue spectrum is probably pretty correct.

http://www.allbinos.com/187-binocula..._8x32_DCF.html

http://www.allbinos.com/191-binocula...x32_T*_FL.html

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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 18:27   #21
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Some very interesting comments here regarding the quality of the HG and HGL.......although would be good if someone could clarify the actual difference and what the L means?

How do you think these compare with the Zeiss 10x32 T*FL ? The Zeiss cost twice the money. I know they are a fabulous bin but curious as to whether the additional cost is worth it.

I'm a great fan of Nikon (8x32 SE) and in particular the smooth focusing. The Zeiss FL's do get fabulous write ups but could the Nikon 10x32 HGL's still be the better choice?
Can I add to what Vespobuteo has said.

The letter L appears on the front label and it's 695g in weight - about 100g lighter than the earlier model.

As l said l an earlier post I had the Nikon 8x32 HG and bought a Zeiss 8x32 FL to replace it. After a period of using both side by side I sold the Zeiss which I found to be insipid in colour rendition compared to the Nikon HG plus. I retained those for about another 5 years before they were replaced by Nikon 8x32 EDG's.

There is review of the same models I had on

[url="http://scopeviews.co.uk/Nikon8x32HG.htm"]

and I very much concur with that.

They are quite different types of binocular so I do suggest that you try to test both, preferably side by side. At the current price for the L model they are exception value for money.

Stan

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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 18:58   #22
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[quote=Vespobute

Overall it's a very nice binocular. If you don't mind a bit higher CA than the FL at the edges they are a very good buy[/QUOTE]



Having owned both binoculars in 8x32 there is not even comparison in the CA amount between those two particular models..and the HGL is a binocular that i really wanted to like ,because its build quality,ergo,mechanics etc are beautiful,but the CA amount present in the center of the view is really annoying..Color rendition and saturation are stunning,but....this said the FL 8x32 let me with the same feeling..I wanted to like it because sharpness and overall feeling is superb(dont mind fuzzy edges myself)but the color rendition i didnt like..If the EDG represents the HGL upgraded to ED glass and reduced CA ,then must be a really good binocular..
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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 19:36   #23
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It seems to me the CA is a major stumbling block here, although if you double your money you get the FL's with a cleaner view.
Is the CA really such an issue on theses bins. I did read Allbinos report but as you all probably know it's whether the viewers actually pics it up and we're all different. Or is it a case if you go looking for it you're sure to find it??

The more I read into this what does ea become clear is the that 10x32 models released over 10 years ago are still a match for the newer comparable models of today.

Every time I try an EL 10x32 or FL I can't see the attraction of heavier and more cumbersome 8x or 10x42 models.
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Old Sunday 9th July 2017, 19:53   #24
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Every time I try an EL 10x32 or FL I can't see the attraction of heavier and more cumbersome 8x or 10x42 models.
Sollas

Follow your heart then. Its true a 32mm will satisfy most people most of the time. If you are young enough that your eyes dilate sufficently in dull/ dark conditions you would find 42mm brighter for a brief period at dusk and dawn and if you are committed enough this may be very valuable to you. But otherwise 32s have much to offer.

I find some binos with stronger colours to be not quite so life-like as the FL but as you have seen above, some people regard it as too weak in colour. Its not a case of who is right and who is wrong as we all have different vision, different colour perception and so on. Only you can decide what is right for you and what is value for money for you. So try as many 32s as you can and find out what your 'guns' are, then stick to them.

Lee
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Old Wednesday 19th July 2017, 12:39   #25
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Yes, these are truly fantastic binoculars. I bought mine (8X32 HG) in Toronto more than 10 years ago and I still have them. I also have a Nikon 10X25 HG and a 8X42 LXL. At one point I also bought a 10X42 but was not happy with the depth of field so I sold it. My 8X32 HG is my main observation/hunting binocular.

Wow! Schmidt & Bender rifle sope mounted to a Steyr Mannlicher rifle!

What caliber?
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